Reflections on Poetry and the World: Walking along the Hudson
This collection brings together 40 years of essays about poetry and literature written by Emily Grosholz. The first section includes essays about some of her favorite poets and thinkers in the United States, England, France and Germany. The second section brings poetry into relation with ethics, politics and practical deliberation, and the third considers it alongside science and imagination. The last section is an homage to The Hudson Review, for whom she has served as an Advisory Editor for many years. As a philosopher, Emily Grosholz has written and thought about feminism, racism, and mathematics and science, which has led her to admire all the more the distinct wisdom of poetry. These essays show how poetry reorganized language and memory, eros and experience, and time and place, and how and why it deepens our understanding of life.
Emily Grosholz is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies and English and a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory and the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Pennsylvania State University. She was educated at the University of Chicago and Yale University, where she received her PhD in Philosophy. She has published eight books of poetry, most recently The Stars of Earth: New and Selected Poems (2017). She has also published six books of philosophy (along with six edited collections), including Starry Reckoning: Reference and Analysis in Mathematics and Cosmology (2016), which won the Fernando Gil Prize in 2017, which honors a work of particular excellence in philosophy of science. Her book Great Circles: The Transits of Mathematics and Poetry (2018) brings both aspects of her creative life together.
“Since meeting her, I have been dazzled by the combination of poetry, philosophy and mathematics in Emily Grosholz’s thought and writing, particularly in her poems. And those poems are not stiff academic exercises, but true poetry.”
“Emily Grosholz’s essays are like being in your best friend’s open touring car with a hamper in the back. And the landscape is the most interesting people of our age. We see each mind-landscape in her mellow Mediterranean light of insight, accepting, registering, presenting, pointing so well that explanation is hardly needed. This is Grosholz’s middle way—or as she would say, middle term—between the dazzling inhuman light of her philosophy of science and the intimate glow of her poetry. It’s the vision of a sane, good human being with a mammoth intellect and a half-hidden puckish sense of humor.”
“This collection is a magnificent testament to Emily Grosholz’s range and depth. She moves effortlessly across disciplines, from mathematics and science, to literature and social issues, sweeping up an extraordinary chorus of thinkers, and illuminating all she touches with lucidity, erudition, and grace.”
Retired Professor, Columbia University
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